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Legislators consider amendments to family and medical leave bill

Posted: 6:15 PM, Apr 09, 2019
Updated: 2019-04-09 21:47:20-04

COLORADO- The family leave bill at the Colorado Legislature is moving forward, but not without some major changes made in the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday afternoon.

If the bill becomes law, Colorado workers would be eligible for 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave.

At a rally outside the capitol Tuesday afternoon, the sponsors of the legislation, Senators Faith Winter (D-Westminster) and Angela Williams (D- Denver) said the bill is necessary to help Colorado’s economy.

“While these businesses are succeeding, Colorado employees are struggling because the current FMLA plan does not cover them,’ said Williams.

Lawmakers adopted many amendments Tuesday afternoon- making some big changes to the original bill.

“We’re trying to take care of everyone and in the process, we’re costing people their jobs,” said Senator Paul Lundeen (R- Monument) prior to Tuesday’s hearing.

Lundeen offered up amendments that were rejected by his fellow committee members Tuesday afternoon.

One of the changes will have a big impact on employees- with an increased percentage for the contribution.

Previously, the bill required employers and employees to contribute .32 percent of the employee’s wages towards the enterprise fund.

After the amendments made in the Senate Finance committee, employees will now contribute 60 percent of the rate, employers will foot the remainder of the cost.

“Colorado can be a leader, other states have done it and we have the opportunity to do it here,” said Tracy Duscharme, a small business owner in Colorado Springs.

Duscharme traveled to the capitol Tuesday afternoon to show her support for the bill, something she believes would be a positive investment for her six employees.

“I think it’s an embarrassment, I think it’s past time that our country offers it,” said Duscharme.

After a party-line vote in the Senate Finance committee, it now moves onto the Appropriations committee.